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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
North American Works Directory Listing
Heartland — A Musical Story of the American Pioneers
Philip Westin
Burt Peachy
Book co-authored by Michael Olton
Alexandra Bergstrom (Soprano); Marie Shabata (Soprano); Emil Bergstrom (Tenor); Carl Lindstrum (Tenor); Frank Shabata (Bass Baritone); John Bergstrom (Bass Baritone); Lou Bergstrom (Tenor); Oscar Bergstrom (Baritone); Amadee Chavalier (Tenor)
June 19, 2009
Center Stage Opera, CA
Heartland tells the story of immigrant families (Swedish, French and Czech) that settled on the plains of Nebraska during the second half of the 19th Century. The tale, like the novel from which it is based, focuses on the life of Alexandra Bergstrom, a young Swedish girl who inherits the task of managing the family farm after her father’s death. Working the land is hard and many leave; however, Alexandra vows to stay and make a success. The action sweeps ahead twelve years where we see Alexandra has become a land baroness. The ensuing action focuses on the romantic relationships between Alexandra’s brother, Emil, and his childhood sweetheart, Marie, the tension between Alexandra and her brothers, and the return of Alexandra’s best friend, Carl. Crises ensue causing rifts between the family, jealousy by Frank over Marie’s naive flirtations, and Carl’s conflict between staying with Alexandra and finding his own way in life. Tragedy and death occur for the young lovers, leaving Alexandra alone without hope or a future. She remembers the lessons of the land and the encouragement her father gave her as a young girl. She vows to carry on, taking care of her family and the land that was entrusted to her. In a final triumphant moment, Carl returns to be with Alexandra for the rest of their lives.
Chorus (24-32 singers - chorus doubles smaller roles)
6 Dancers
lyric opera with underscored dialogue; style bridges romantic Americana and 20th-century styles
Christopher Keene, Archer Norris PC
330 South Grand Avenue, Suite 3680
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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